Aug 062007

Yesterday I was flipping back and forth between a particularly bad start to a Phillies game (which ended in stunningly successful fashion) and an episode of Austim City Limits, featuring The Polyphonic Spree. My son was as fascinated as I was by the ridiculous be-robed gesticulations of these clowns, yet he couldn’t quite grasp the majesty of their schtick. “This is like opera!” he kept saying. Good boy. Some Hispanic rock band followed that also was heavy on multi-instrumental band members and was led by a singer with a screeching voice. “Does every band on this show have to have a stupid singer?” my son asked.

Rock ‘n roll is rife with highly successful schticks, from Freddy and the Dreamers to Sha Na Na to The Residents to The White Stripes. More power to all these practitioners of rock schtick, I say. But how about the great schticks of rock that pretty much went nowhere? How about Nash the Slash? I’m sure you’ve got a favorite rock schtick that went nowhere.

I look forward to your responses.


  12 Responses to “Great Schticks That Went Nowhere”

  1. sammymaudlin

    How do you qualify “pretty much nowhere”? Please use Adam Ant in your response.

  2. Mr. Moderator

    I qualify “pretty much nowhere” as being no more effective in gaining attention than someone as pathetic as myself retaining the knowledge of Nash the Slash all these years while still not making an effort to hear more than 12 seconds of his music. Adam Ant’s schtick, on the other hand, was highly successful. He even turned it into the opportunity to play vaguely bad balding guys with ponytails in detective shows and low-budget movies.

  3. sammymaudlin

    Excellent. I feared that you would consider his schtick a failure. You have renewed my faith in “Mr. Moderator” having been slightly tarnished recently with your unsupported maligning of the superb “Mavericks” LP.

    How about Alvin Stardust or Wayne/Jayne County?

  4. hrrundivbakshi

    Kid Creole & The Coconuts (cue rabid defense from at least one super-nerd ’round these parts)

    Joe “King” Carrasco & The Crowns

  5. Mr. Moderator

    I hear you, Townsmen Sammy and Hrrundi, although what exactly was Carrasco’s schtick beyond the crown? Did he carry a scepter?

    Pianosaurus, the toy instrument band, had a great schtick that was barely appreciated.

  6. sammymaudlin

    There was a cool band in Tucson called The Mighty Dinks who played hard rock covers on all toy instruments hooked up to massive amps. They were really cool but only played the intra-state art circuit.

  7. hrrundivbakshi

    The Monks

    As much as I adore them, The Upper Crust have never really taken off, either.

  8. meanstom

    As a form of anti-schtick, wouldn’t you say Kiss w/o the makeup was not as successful as expected? They had to go back to the makeup to reinvigorate their career.

  9. Kid Creole & The Coconuts (cue rabid defense from at least one super-nerd ’round these parts)

    Have you ever heard Off the Coast of Me, their debut for Ze records? Personally, I don’t care for anything afterwards, but I absolutely adore that record. Oddly enough, despite your dis, you’re probably the person on here I’d expect to like it the most. Perhaps this is a critical upgrade post in the making.

  10. sammymaudlin

    That’s a good one- Kiss’ anti-schtick schtick.

  11. Not so much rabid defense as point of clarification: what part of Kid Creole and the Coconuts are you considering their schtick?

    Now, you wanna talk schtick, you need to look backwards to their progenitor band, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band: that was schtick out the ass, and other than the sublime “Cherchez La Femme” (one of the greatest disco singles ever) and “Sunshower” (original home of the hook to MIA’s biggest single), it hasn’t aged nearly as well.

  12. God. I remember Nash The Slash. He was a mummy-dude right?

    How about?

    Urge Overkill
    Buster Poindexter
    Jo Boxers

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